Barriere Lake First Nation protests at annual meeting of mining company drawn to Quebec by Plan Nord
No Mineral Exploration On Our Territory Without Consultation and Community Consent
Montreal – Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
At 10am today at 2000 McGill College avenue, representatives from Barriere Lake and their supporters will be gathering outside the annual meeting of shareholders of Copper One.
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake will be sending a clear message to Copper One Inc. and its shareholders: no mineral exploration can take place on Barriere Lake’s territory without the community’s free, prior and informed consent.
The mineral exploration site - the Rivière Doré property located in the southeast of Val d’Or, Quebec - is at the heart of the hunting and fishing ground of several Barriere Lake families, amongst an extensive network of lakes, streams, and rivers. Rivière Doré contains a large amount of copper and nickel deposits, first claimed by Cartier Resources Inc., a junior mining company based in Val d’Or. After length community opposition, on December 15, 2011, Cartier sold its share of the Rivière Doré property to Copper One for $150,000 in cash, 2 million common shares of Copper One, and a royal fee of 1% of the net smelter return.
In May 2011, a letter by the Council of Elders, expressing the community’s opposition to natural resource exploitation within Trilateral Agreement territory, was forwarded to the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Copper One. According to Copper One’s web site, its mining exploration activities on this property have been put on hold, pending negotiations with the First Nations community of Barriere Lake.
Norman Matchewan, a community spokesperson of Barriere Lake, stressed that “there will be no discussions about mining on the territory until the signed 1991 Trilateral Agreement with Quebec and Canada is honoured.”
This is the message that will be relayed at Copper One’s annual meeting of shareholders, today.
The 1991 Trilateral Agreement is a resource co-management agreement designed to protect the Algonquin community's way of life by ensuring they have a decisive say over land use in their territory. This agreement, when implemented, will also offer the community a modest share of revenues from economic activities on their lands. The federal and provincial governments have shirked their legal and political responsibility to honour this agreement, stalling sustainable development in the territory from moving peaceably forward.
The Algonquins of Barriere Lake are concerned that the provincial government may have misled Copper One about the security of their proposed project and may have hid the costs and liabilities the company could incur should the community choose to challenge Copper One’s Rivière Doré project. At this time, the continuation of the project would violate the Trilateral Agreement and would be in contradiction to established Canadian legal precedents and international agreements such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Norman Matchewan - Community spokesperson (English):
Steve Baird – Liaison person (English and French): 514-607-838
Ramsey Hart – MiningWatch Canada : phone/ cell